PFL's Stop the Coward Punch Round Tue, June 4, 2024 - 2:25 PM

On Saturday 8 June, the Perth Football League will hold a dedicated Stop the Coward Punch Round across the EGT Colts Competition to spread awareness about the devastating effects the coward punch has on the community.

As part of the round, branded footballs with the messaging “Stop the Coward Punch Round” will be used across the six EGT Colts grades for Round 9 with a short ceremony before matches to highlight the initiative and raise awareness.

To launch the round, a workshop led by PFL Club Development Manager Mark Sanders is being held on Wednesday 5 June with the Captain and Coach from each participating colts team attending and former AFL player Robert DiPierdomenico sharing his story.

Attendees will complete the Stop the Coward Punch module during the session with this season being the first where any player suspended for a physical act is required to complete the online course before returning to play.

Clubs are encouraged to participate in the round by promoting the message of the campaign by taking a photo with the two club captains holding the branded football prior to bouncedown and using the hashtag #StopTheCowardPunchRound on social media.

Stop the Coward Punch Campaign Overview 

Stop the Coward Punch Campaign was founded by Four Time World Champion Boxer, Danny Green in 2012 and operates across the nation spreading awareness and education about the devastating effects the coward punch has on our community. We are on a mission to eliminate it from our society and save lives in the process through advancing education, social welfare & the safety of the Australian public. Danny and this campaign have vehemently instigated the change in vernacular in society from the court room; lead news stories across the nation, down to the people on the street that now sees this type of hideous assault branded as a “Coward Punch” attack.  With the campaign’s ongoing advertising and marketing, it will continue to solidify the term in society permanently, and assist in preventing this type of senseless harm. Every Coward Punch death is completely preventable

Facts and figures 

  • The median age of fatal coward punch victims is 41 years of age (age ranges from 14-89 years)
  • Over 175 Australians have died to a coward punch since 2000. 
  • The median age of a perpetrator who has thrown a fatal coward punch is 26 years of age (age range 15-69 years)
  • 63% of Perpetrators had a sentencing outcome of imprisonment ranging from 6 – 18 years.
  • 64% of surviving coward punch victims were assaulted in public locations including venues and on sporting fields
  • 83% of coward punch survivors experience neurological damage
  • Coward punch victims who do not die usually end up permanently mentally and/or physically disabled from the assault. These cases typically involve complex neurosurgery and a prolonged intensive care hospital admission, followed by rehabilitation and ongoing care to manage the physical, cognitive and emotional damage incurred with the assault. They are never the same again.

Coward Punch Education 

Stop the Coward Punch Campaign has partnered with the PFL in establishing an education module to decrease violence in sport. This module is aimed at Colts players and will be mandatory for senior players found guilty of striking on the field. The purpose of this program is to bring about positive mindset and behaviour change through strategies and factual information that focuses on the impacts of unnecessary and cowardly acts of violence.

Through use of these educational resources’ we hope to support people in making positive behavioural and mindset changes that help to prevent coward punch occurrences in the future, and in turn, help to save lives.

In addition to this module specifically designed for the PFL, Stop the Coward Punch Campaign has designed a suite of lessons ranging over various subjects and creating discussions on cowardly violence through group workshops. Please see for more information.

Message from Danny Green

“I’m sure you stand alongside me by agreeing that are fewer acts lower than punching someone who can’t see it coming. I continually get stopped by people in the street who see this campaign as incredibly important. Some young blokes told me they had their fair share of fights but walked from one recently because they remembered what I said. That is very satisfying and gives me hope the message resonates with the people. Although sadly, we continue to hear every week that these horrific crimes are carried out. That tells me we all still have a lot of work to do educating people. 

I’ve met families whose lives were overturned by violence — fathers, mothers, children, siblings shattered because someone chose to lash out, not walk away. It almost brought me to tears but it galvanised our aim to stamp out this violence. Many perpetrators would give anything to take back their disastrous actions and I’m certain their families suffer when they are sent to jail. But it’s too late. There is no excuse for these coward punches. If you choose to hit someone, that’s on you. It’s your decision to act without respect for people or decency.  

I implore people to think about the potential fatal ramifications of a single blow. If I can make even one person think before striking out, that’s a victory.”

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